Comments By Britton R.

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  • Britton R.
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  • 7 years, 5 months ago
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Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

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Frustrated Trainee

I say suck it up. I'm training now. We aren't running as a team but my trainer sits shotgun and plays with his phone paying no attention to me. The first week or so was insane. I just have a permit and they threw me in the truck with zero driving experience. It was somewhat terrifying. But I learn more and more. A lot is me just figuring it out. A crappy way to learn, but I'm learning.

Stick it out and it will come. Best of luck to you.

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

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Where do I go from here

In my opinion, you'll have a tough time finishing the schooling if you wre unsure about the program from the beginnng. Once you get going you'll get a lot more stress which will will build upon already shaking confidence. This will be a lot to handle while trying to get used to everything else in the schooling. I'd go somewhere you have confidence in from the start.

I just started at Prime a few weeks ago and its been tough. Theres a lot thrown at you that you have to digest and it takes its toll. I've heard England is a very fast paced program and push the lease hard. If you aren't comfortable, don't do it. Find a program you're comfortable with so you don't have as much stress from the start.

I detailed my full first week in a post on the cdl diaries section of the forum if you want to see whar Prime is like. You cwn also private message me with questions as well about getting started here.

Its a big decision, don't rush into it. You may feel the need to rush due to money or other concerns but think about the long term before jumping in.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Music

I haven't talked to the other guys. My trainer isn't that great. Hes not a good teacher. He gave training a shot, and I'm his first student. He said I'll be his last because he's not cut out to train. If he was just teaching me the way of the road it would be ok. But he's supposed to be preparing me for the cdl test. He pretty much throws me in the drivers seat and watches/talks on the phone all day. He'll give me advice here or there but really its me learning on my own. It kind of sucks, but I'm getting better. Hopefully we'll get to do some backing soon.

Quallcom is simple enough. The hardest thing will be remembering the macros but thathwill come in time. I'm hoping my tnt trainer will be better. I need to be taught what to do not just sit and watch and try to figure it out. All in all the driving is getting better by the day. I'm getting more comfortable each day. Now I just need backing and pretrip practice. My trainer sucks with pretrip. Cant answer my questions, and doesn't help at all. Youtube is my teacher. The flashcards on here have helped too.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Cooking and eating good on the road

I watch their videos too. They always make corn bread that looks amazing. I'm going to get a slow cooker when I go solo and make some good stuff.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Getting my bearings to set sail in a Big Rig.

I'd apply to any and all that fulfil what you're looking for. If driver solutions is what you want, go for it but it doesn't hurt to contact more. Sometimes its hard to get ahold of recruiters so you may be able to get into another quicker if time is essential. My best advice is to narrow down all of the ones that suit your needs and apply to all of them. Once you talk to them you can pick from there. Just make sure that the company is what you want. Don't just jump at one for the heck of it. This will be a big choice, make sure its right for you.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Music

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I listen to all music. Right now my trainer and I usually listen to the 90s alternative/grunge or blue collar comedy on xm radio. Yesterday I listened to the 90s on 9 channel all day. Once I get my own truck I'm going to listen to everything. Techno at night and then a different genre each day. I also have my ipod to hook into the stereo when I want something specific

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HOLY HELL!! Where have YOU been??? Nice of you to just jump in here and let us know you made it through and are on the road as a PSD..rofl-2.gif Seriously, though..good to hear from you..how is it going??

Its goin. I'm getting better every day. Its been a quick 2 weeks out here on the road. Seen some beautiful country. Driven in situations that were terrifying. I'm hating training, but love it out here on the road. I can't wait to be solo. I know that I won't think that way when I'm alone and need help, but I'm just independent. I want to do things my way like not have the qualcom on silent, and not have trash around the cab. And I'm tired of the top bunk! Lol. Overall I can't complain. For the first time in my life I really enjoy what I'm doing. I can tolerate a few months of training. When it gets rough I think about what I will do with my own truck.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Music

I listen to all music. Right now my trainer and I usually listen to the 90s alternative/grunge or blue collar comedy on xm radio. Yesterday I listened to the 90s on 9 channel all day. Once I get my own truck I'm going to listen to everything. Techno at night and then a different genre each day. I also have my ipod to hook into the stereo when I want something specific

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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After 3 weeks with Prime

I remember reading this forum and a lot of of people comment that training goes by quick. It sure does. Days blend together and fly by. I did my week of classroom and have now heen on the road training for almost two weeks. I think that the program at Prime throws you onto the road without enough training overall.

Day one I was driving. Only 30 miles but the only experience I had was the simulator so it was pretty rushed getting on the road. Day two was 400+ miles and it was off from there. I really feel you ae lacking a lot of info out here. They pushed us out the door and ran us hard. At the end of the first week I questioned all of it because I didn't think I was getting the info needed to get my license. After talking with my fleet manager I feel a lot more confident because they had a plan. A plan would have been good to know from the beginning.

So far I've been in 18 states and each time zone. We started in Springfield Mo.from there it was Bakersfield, Boise, Provo Wi, Atlanta and now we're just outside of Lexington Ky. I've ran over lawn furniture, stalled on a mountain, almost had a head on collision a few feet in front of me (dumb 4 wheelers passing on a two lane without enough room) , saw a driver life flighted away from a mangled cab, and today a downgrade in pouring rain. Its been insane. In the next few days we're heading back to Illinois to do a dedicated wal mart route. This will get me a lot of backng practice. 2 weeks and I should get back to Springfield and test for my CDL. Its crazy that I've done all of his with only a permit. My trainer says I need to be getting paid. I agree, but it is what it is.

Training sucks, but its a necessary evil. You have to learn. Even if your trainer isn't someone you want to be with. I want my freedom and space. All of it will come in time. I'm loving every second of driving. I can't wait to finally get out on my own. Its been fun and terrifying all at the same time. I can't wait to see what's next.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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First timer

Thanks for the words guys. I'm trying to learn and learn. Yesterday was a nightmare, but I survived. My issue is not knowing what to do and when. Yesterday we ended up going around LA rather than through it. The traffic wasnt horrible, but was a bit stressful. I see two trucks ahead of me part andI'm stuck in the lane surrounded coming up on some patio furniture in the road. Yeah, I nailed it. No big deal but more stress. Then rain and everyone on the highway keep slowing up. So it was a lot of start and stop. Good shifting practice. Eventually we get to the mountains. I don't know much about mountain driving at all. I ended up stalling it on the mountain. I was brain dead at that point and didn't know where to begin or whwt I could have done. I wasn't prepared to do it. I understand being thrown to the wolves, and I also like to train hands on but I'm not comfortable jumping into something that I'm clueless on. If ther was a truck behind me I quite possibly would have hit it when I rolled back.

We weren't given any time on the load so I had to drive through stuff that I wasn't comfortable with at all with zero practice on anything other than a simulator. I like the idea of otr training but you have know how to dribble before you take the court. Its frustrating not feeling equipped to do some of this. I'm learning though. I've done close to 900 miles the last two days and enjoyed most of them. The rest would be ok if I knew what I was doing. Trucking is for me, I just need to get there

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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First timer

Britton - getting started on the road is overwhelming for everyone. The way you feel is the way everyone feels when they first head out with a trainer - it's information overload. The companies and trainers know this. It just takes time and experience to get a feel for the truck and get used to absorbing the constant flow of information coming at you. But you'll get it just fine. It may feel like you're in over your head but soon enough you'll get more comfortable with it.

Remember, the only thing that matters is don't hit anything. Everything else is just a temporary situation - a trivial detail. If you hold up traffic - doesn't matter. If you have to pull up 10 times to get backed in - doesn't matter. If you make a wrong turn, miss your turn, or start grinding gears like you're making hamburger - doesn't matter. Just don't hit anything. Take all of the time you need to perform any maneuver. Ask all of the questions you can think of.

Just take it slow, try to relax, and don't hit anything. That's it. That's your only concern right now. You'll learn quickly and things won't feel so overwhelming very soon.

That's how I've been looking at it. Driving is all about practicing and getting better every day. Yesterday I did 433 miles. It was easy. Sure it was down 20 all the way through texas but I feel more comfortable in the truck. Today I'll be driving through LA. Traffic will be some stress but I'll make it. It just seems insane to not have any drive experience before going on the road. But I'm making it. Pretrip will be tough but I'll get there

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Prime Day 1

I think his training was similar to my training in that there wasn't much of it. He also said that a lot of it was him and the other drivers sitting around b.s' ing. I went back and looked over the flashcards here on the site. That helped relax me and make me a bit more comfortable.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Prime Day 1

Steven dekter. I'm his first and probably last student. He says he can teach me to drive but not necessarily 'by the book'. So I ask a question and sometimes he's not sure the answer he gives me is 'correct'. At the momnt I'm stressing on the pretrip. Its a lot to memorize and he isn't sure on some stuff. I don't know what the pieces are to begin planning on how to memorize the words. Its tough. If I'm not progressing after a week I may consider trying to get another trainer. I don't know

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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First timer

Thanks guys, I'll give them both a try and see what works for me

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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First timer

So I drove for 30 miles today in Oklahoma. Tuesday I staryed school and saturday I was behind the wheel. It was pretty intense. Nothing in the training really prepared me to actually drive. Nothing mentioned about anything really. They threw us on a simulator which was fun, yet not at all like a real truck. I think it did more to hinder me than to help. I guess you kind of get the feelinh of a truck but that's as far as it went.

My biggest problem is getting started and getting up to speed. I would have like sime kind of training on double clutching and shifting. I have no idea if i have bad habbits due to driving a manual car a long time ago, bad habbits from having to press tbe clutch all the way in on the simulator or I just have no idea what I'm doing in general. Tomorrow once we get past dallas I'm going to drive for a long time. Going 55 and keeping her between the lines is simple. Trying to get through low gears, watch for traffic and watch my mirrors is almost too much. Downshifting is foreign as well. Its all so much to focus on. And being on the highway there are lives at risk as well as equipment and cargo.

They gave us a load to california and there's hardly any time on it to practice or anything. I know that you gotta learn somewhere but geez, throwing me right out on the highway is a lot of pressure. I know I'll get better and everything, it just seems there are better ways to learn.

Any tips or advice would be much appreciated.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Prime Day 1

Day 4-

We started with a roll call and about 2were cleared and got their badges. They spent the day on the training pad. Oli finally went to the dmv and got my permit. The rest of the day I was officially truckin. By that I mean I waited and waited. 3:00 comes around and I was on the the way to headquarters. I got my badge/comdata card and was off with my trainer. We went to his house to pick up his truck and belongings (its a new truck for him too). Then as the sun was setting he let me practice on a small ally road until it got dark. That was bobtailing fyi. Then we headed back to prime to get a matress for the top bunk and sleep for the night.

Tomorrow we leave for Bakersfield, CA. He told me he's pulling onto a ramp tomorrow and I'm going to drive. Ummmm what?!? Tuesday I showed up with zero experience and saturday I'm hauling a load down the highway... Well, ya gotta learn some time right? If you live in texas stay off the highway tomorrow! Hahaha. Its all real now. A few months ago I decided I wanted to do this. Now its go time.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Prime Day 1

Day 3-

Day three was pretty simple and straight forward. I started the morning with breakfast with another youtube trucker and was able to get some good info. Then the first portion of the day was company orientation. This covered insurance, sexual harassment, and handling high value loads. It was kind of dull but I did enjoy talking about high value loads and hearing some stories.

Next was SLEEP APNEA info. I put that in bold because I never got much info on it when I was looking and maybe this will help someone. If Prime flags you for a sleep study you are supposed to attend an informative meeting on day 3. Basically you get a 60 day medical card which allows you to go through the first phase of training. Once you get back to test for your CDL you schedule the test. The test is around $600 which is payroll deducted. I'd you need the c-pap machine that takes the cost over $2000 and again is payroll deducted. You do have the option to do the study on your own and all of that if you wish. These cost around $6000 and can take a few weeks to get the results rather than a day with going through Prime. One thing to note is veterans I believe can get it done free with the va or something. It would be worth looking into.

After that those that needed to go to the dmv went. Me....I was still waiting on my medical card. About an hour later I got a text that it was good to go and i'll get it in the morning and go to the dmv to finally finalize my permit.

We then did a class on the Smith system. For those that don't know its a system of safer driving. It focuses on a number of things along the lines of following distance, space around the vehicle, etc. Really a lot of common sense but good to refresh yourself on.

Then anyone that had not worked on the simulator got a chance to use them. FINALLY!!! Well my first try was a disaster. Massive, epic failure. Double clutching in your head is not at all like double clutching on a simulator ( which is still not entirely like a truck). I started by not buckling the seat belt. Then was regular clutching and missing gears. Because my focus was on shifting so much that I was all over the road. Most of the run was spent on the wrong side of the road. I was really down on myself here. Once I finished my run I was really really upset with myself. How did I react? I went next door for dinner. I came back and went again. I was 1 million times better. Faaaarrrrrrrr from perfect, but I'm grtting there. I shifted better and I stayed straight. My confidence grew a lot. I'm still not great at double clutching. Not even close, but each time I improved. One other thing I have trouble with is the low gears coming so fast and keeping track of what gear I'm in. Its to be expected on day 1. I'm not stressed, I'm excited for what lies ahead.

That was it for the day. Tomorrow morning I should get my medical card, and permit. Then when I get back I should be meeting up with my trainer and jump on the training pad. From there I should get my card and all of that and may even hit the road that night. Dont know. What I do know is I'm ready to go and get started. My trainer seems like a good guy to learn from with good motivation. He said he mostly runs east coast. I've never been too far east so that will be fun. I'm slightly terrified of the area as far as population and small roads and low bridges. But really I think learning in that area will go a long way.

I'm not sure if I'll have time to update for a while. You can also find my video updates on youtube under RideWithB. Qny questions feel free to PM me.

-B

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Who's starting Prime Sept 3rd?

Good luck to you guys. Its been interesting for me here this week. Nothing makes me regret Prime or anything like that. I think it will be a good company to drive for. I started a thread on the cdl training area of this site updating it daily. You guys cwn also pm me if you got questions. I'll do my best to answer them. I know I was stressed when I was coming down.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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HazMat Endorsement

Might be state rules. I took it with my permit tests. I didntt have a med card or do any of the background checks.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Prime Day 1

DAY 2

Day 2 was far better than day 1. I'm still waiting on my doctor and thus still don't have the actual permit. Crossing my fingers for tomorrow. Last night the nurse sent out a mass text to everyone that needed paperwork from their doctor. I was accidentally left off the list. Not a huge deal. They told me yesterday that I should give the doc a call today. I called my home doc and they never recieved the fax. So I found the nurse who was busy with other physicals and that stuff. I explained the situation and she sent me the text. It just said to call the doc which I had done. I texted back that they never recieved the fax and sent the fax number in case it was wrong on the paperwork I gave them. She texted 'thanks' back and that's all I heard. A few hours later I called the doc again still nothing. So I texted the nurses here again and she hasn't been back to the office and will update me later.

This sucks. I don't have my permit because I need this to be able to get the medical card. This is because on the DOT physical forms I put that I had been diagnosed severly depressed about 2 years ago and the doc prescribed me an antidepressant. I then stopped taking it because it didn't do anything. I did this without consulting my doctor. A few months after that I overcame my depression. I went to the doc for a physical to make sure I was good for getting into trucking but he wasn't there and another doc did the physical. Because of this the depression was never brought up. So there I sit yesterday filling out the paperwork and the specific question of depression comes up. They want the truth so I wrote the meds and that it was about a year ago since I used them. I've been happier than ever preparing for trucking. So in my eyes this is irrelevant, but its someone else's call. It really makes me wonder though, had I not brought it up, I think I would have my permit in hand and get on the simulator tonight. They never asked about my doc except for that one question. So I wonder if answering no would have been better. My concern is that the doc says that the last time I saw him I was wicked depressed and that throws up a red flag or something. I just feel I'm in no man's land... its angering me, but I do think it will be fine in the end.

Now... day 2.... We started at 8:30a going through slides of pretrip components. We got a packet to learn. This lasted an hour or so and they sent us out to look at trucks and talk to instructors on what we had went over. During this I see a guy standing by a lightweight truck and jump in the conversation. I asked him random questions about his driving, the lightweights, loads, wait times, etc (ironically nothing about a pretrip). As they heard us back to the classroom he asks if I have a trainer. I said no, and now I hqve a trainer. Day 2, and I've got a trainer. Not sure anyone else in the group has one. Not my problem. So we go back to the room only cover a little bit more. By this time its around noon so they say to get lunch and spend the rest of the day out with the instructors and studying your pretrips. I sit and eat lunch with my soon to be trainer and get an idea about him and all that kind of stuff. I'll be training in a 2014 cascadia (I think) with 34,000 miles on it. I'll be his first student. He seems knowledgeable and not in it for money. He started at another company and was not prepared so he wants to train me to make up for his bad trainer. I'm stoked about that.

So the rest of the day is mine. He said we'll do A LOT of pretrips so I'm not going to go out to the trucks and practice. I've spent the afternoon studying on my own from the packet. We're scheduled for computer training this evening and I'm already done. They did have us skip some sections so I may run in and do those. Because I don't have my permit I don't get on the simulator. Not sure if its that is a rule or they just get priority. That bums me out. I don't see on the schedule where there is any more time to get on it.

So overall today has been easy. Dealing with the doctor stuff has really been a downer, but its made up for by having a trainer and spending a few hours talking to him. My concern is that I won't have a permit by friday and what that means. I've passed the writtenstuff so I ddon't think they would kick me out but I don't know what happens if I'm not ready to go on friday. Does the trainer get assigned someone else? Do I go home and they send him solo until my stuff is ready? Do they drop me? Do I have to go through the program again later? All this stuff I don't know.

At the end of the day, I'm still here, I got a trainer, and I passed all the computer stuff. I think I'm winning, they're just holding onto my prize for a while. It feels promising, so we'll see. I got the sleep study stuff tomorrow and the company orientation. Also the smith system class is tomorrow at the same time I would go to the dmv. Not sure what that means. May not even matter if I'm still waiting. Oh well. Today has been a good day. But I can't lie, when those background check/security guys show up I hold my breath hoping its not me. Hasnt been yet. All is good. Be safe. Be blessed

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Prime Day 1

So I got to Prime last night to start their cdl program. Hotel isn't the best, but its free. Nothing really to complain about. Same with meals. Upon arriving you get a packet full of papers to fill out. I'd do it that night rather than in the morning but didn't seem to matter.

So today. Day 1. 60 people starting with me. Paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork. Hours of it. Then background checks, pee test, physical and interview. Nothing hard, just A LOT of waiting in line. This lasted from 7a-about 3:30 for me. Others longer. Because I kind of have my permit already from 4-8 was computer testing. Watch videos, take review test. All on your own. Some got to jump into the simulator. Not me. I guess I get that tomorrow. Or hope at least.

My honest opinion. This day has been a nightmare. But with so many people going through its hard to think of another way. By tomorrow I think it will get better. My biggest problem is that there isn't really any direction. Everything seems vague as far as what to do when and stuff. An example is that being from Missouri I didn't have to take the physical before coming, but took the permit tests. In their eyes I have my permit, thus was/am grouped with the others with permits from other states. Now I'm supposed to do pretrip and stuff with that group tomorrow but during that I'm also supposed to catch a shuttle to the dmv with the people without permits. I'm also supposed to get a medical card at some point that I have to take to the dmv. I was told I'd get it "tomorrow" when I asked. No idea when. There are two groups but I fall in the middle. I think there may be another one or two like me but everyrhing was so chaotic I didn't get to find or meet them. The directions given were for the two groups. For me, its all question marks. So I'mjust kind of playing it by ear. I'm really not liking that.

I have to do the sleep study. Not a huge deal because I was expecting it. They gave me some papers to fill out and then there is a meeting I have to attend thursday. Now there's some lack of clarity again. I don't know what the meeting is really for. The nurse said that they don't do anything until after you come back to test for your cdl. So Im not sure if its just them giving us info and the study is later or if the study is thursday and you don't have to get a machine until later. Just vague. But I'll figure it out thursday.

Overall day one is crappy. I hate life right now. Just exhausted from not sleeping well with nerves and stuff the last few days and just a brutal long day today. I'm sure any program like this will be that way. Its not a knock on Prime. Sure I'd do things differently, but that's not my job. The following days will be better. Especially as people get weeded out. Just hope its not me! My eyes are focused on the prize. These days will be long and take their toll but when I finally get out there they will be nothing but a memory.

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